As Christmas is approaching, I easily get agitated with my surroundings. I’m a Type A, like organization and cleanness kinda girl. When the Christmas tree goes up, holiday decor comes out, presents gather in the utility room, I get claustrophobic in my own house. There’s just TOO MUCH STUFF! …and then I think of the days following Christmas when things get put away and realize I’m getting new things and so are my kids! MORE STUFF! Bah Humbug!

I won’t get into the spirit of this season should be about caring and giving. I would love nothing more than to tell all my family I’m not buying anything this year and instead offer service coupons for when they want my help with anything. But let’s face it, people want “real” gifts to open on Christmas. So shopping we go. *Cha-ching!*

Looking around at all the ‘stuff’ around me, I’m amazed at how blessed I am to complain about such a thing, but also how much stress it adds onto my holiday hunched shoulders. Do you ever feel the same way? Ever wonder how you accumulated all these things? How your basement got so full compared to when you first moved in and it was completely empty? And ever reflect on what any of it does for you? Sure a Christmas decoration may make you smile. But the stack of junk mail on the dining table probably doesn’t. Or that random dish you bought at Home Goods that you’re not even sure where to put and how to use it. Why do we need 2 set of wine glasses for a service of 10?

So, maybe we just need less stuff. A cluttered house can lead to a cluttered mind. How so?
There are more things to keep clean.
There are more things to keep organized.
There are more things to keep track of (where did I put that again?).
More time tracking all these things than focusing on more important aspects of our life.- Family, Friends, Self Care, Our Community.

Besides the physical space things take up in our lives, all these things are a signal that maybe you’re trying to compensate a fulfillment in another area of your life. Are you happy with your job? Are you happy with your marriage? Are you happy with the amount of time you get to spend on yourself?
Consciously, or subconsciously, we can deflect discomfort, pain, and unease in our lives by trying to fill it in ways that are easier to do- like shopping. There is an instant gratification when you spend some money and buy something for yourself. But I’m sure you’ve also heard of the “buyer’s remorse”. This high we get when we buy something doesn’t last long. Some people realize it was mistake right away and return the items for their money back. Others feel the low when the high wears off, but keep the things…hence the home clutter.

 

“A cluttered house can lead to a cluttered mind.”

 

If you’re looking to try something else to fill a void inside yourself, here are some things you can experiment with:

  • Don’t buy something the second you see it. Take a picture of the product and give yourself a few days. If you’re still thinking about it nonstop, and have the money (I don’t want you feeding any debt), then allow yourself to make the purchase.
  • Wait to buy something for a special occasion, or as a gift to yourself for reaching a health or wellness goal.

If you’re looking to curb spending all together, think of some other things that may bring happiness to your life.

  • If your job isn’t filling up your happy bucket, look for a new hobby to bring enjoyment (if switching jobs isn’t an easy option).
  • If there’s a relationship that’s bringing stress and drama, maybe it’s time to reevaluate that relationship and measure it’s worth to your well being. Or maybe you simply need to confront some issues, forgive, or find ways to reconnect (date night, girls night, Mother/daughter spa day, etc).
  • What activities did you love to do as a child/teen/young adult? Why not get involved again? Whether it’s coloring, crafting, playing on a sport’s team, or just spending hours locked in your room listening to music, ignite that flame and spend some time each day or week on You! Self care is so important for your health and well being. If your cup isn’t full, you can’t top off anyone else’s glass.

And if you’re inspired to do some holiday cleaning, here are a few more tips to get you started:

  • Just go through that junk mail pile and get it done. I know, it’s tedious and boring but you will feel so cleansed when you’re done. This also includes old magazines. If there’s an article or recipe you want to keep, take a picture of it with your phone and upload it to your Pinterest account.
  • If you haven’t used it in more than 6 months to a year, donate it.
  • If that shirt or pair of pants don’t fit…and haven’t since 2007, donate them.
  • That unasked for gift your in-law or dear aunt gave you but it’s just not your taste or style- donate it.
  • Kid’s school work fiasco: post 2-3 assignments on the fridge until the next batch of new work comes home. Switch it out, recycle the old. Set a folder aside for important mementos.
  • Kid’s toys pile up and up and up. Before they get a new stack for Christmas, go through some old ones with them and ask them what they would like to donate to kids in need, or maybe a local school or daycare center.

Donate…see where I’m going with this? The Helper’s High will start to fill that void and make you feel good about yourself. Two stones and a great start to find yourself and begin feeling happier.

Happy Holidays!
xoxo